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7 February 2017

The 'Just Join In' event is aimed at promoting further opportunities for young people with disabilities in Wigan

Paralympic silver medalist Graeme Ballard was a special guest at the ‘Just Join In’ multi sports festival at Wigan Youth Zone recently.

The festival, which was organised by Wigan Athletic Community Trust, Inspiring Healthy Lifestyles, Wigan Youth Zone and Wigan School Games Organisers, aimed to promote further opportunities for young people with disabilities in Wigan and to enrich their experience in school.

Graeme, who won silver in the 100m sprint at the 2012 London Paralympic Games, said: “The event was absolutely brilliant. There were a number of young people with a wide range of abilities and the organisers adapted the activities to every child’s need which was great. Events such as this one are really important because they improve confidence and self-esteem.

He added: “It’s rewarding for myself to be able to attend such events because it’s just as important to give something back to these young people as it is working on your own performance.”

As part of its Every Player Counts scheme, Wigan Athletic Community Trust deliver free multi sports sessions at Hope School, Oakfield High School and College and Landgate School on a weekly basis, and has worked with over 200 young people since the launch of the project in October 2016.

Every Player Counts is a project funded by the Wembley National Stadium Trust and administered by the English Football League Trust, and aims to help 100’s of young people with disabilities to play football and sport over the next three years. 

Joe Pym, Disability Football Officer at Wigan Athletic Community Trust, said: “Just Join In is an inclusive sports day which Wigan Athletic Community Trust is proud to be a part of. The young children enjoyed a range of sports including, dance, curling and gym sessions.

He added: “The event was aimed at children who might not take part in regular sports at schools because they lack the necessary confidence, so it was an event that was very much about them and what they could take out of the session.”

For more information about Wigan Athletic Community Trust’s Every Player Counts scheme, please contact Disability Football Officer Joe Pym on 01942 318090 or email

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